Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 2, 2016

Blockade Disrupts Klamath Salvage Logging


Early Morning Blockade Disrupts Klamath Salvage Logging
Group urges Forest Service to support Karuk Alternative to the Westside Project


HD video and photos available for use at:
Please credit photo and video to Stop Westside Coalition

SEIAD VALLEY, Calif. – Hours before daybreak this morning dozens of people including Tribal youth, river advocates and forest activists blocked the road leading to the Westside salvage logging project in the Klamath National Forest. Demonstrators held banners that read Karuk Land: Karuk Plan, recited call and response chants, and testified to the timber sales' impact on ailing salmon populations. Work was delayed for approximately four hours.

The Westside Salvage Logging Project would clear cut more than 5,700 acres on steep slopes above Klamath River tributaries and along 320 miles of roads within Klamath National Forest. Post-fire logging and hauling began in late April, before legal claims brought forth by a lawsuit led by the Karuk Tribe could be considered in court.

"The Forest Service should follow the Karuk Plan on Karuk Land. Traditional knowledge of fire helps everything stay in balance because it's all intertwined," said Dania Rose Colegrove of the Klamath Justice Coalition. "When you destroy the forests, you destroy the rivers."

Unlike the Karuk Alternative, the Westside plan calls for clear cut logging on steep slopes right above several of the Klamath River's most important salmon-bearing streams, at a time when returning salmon numbers are reaching record lows. Members of local Tribal youth councils who participated in today's protest see Westside salvage logging as a threat to their future.

"Today I showed up and stood up for what is right for future generations," said Lacey Jackson, a 16-year old Hoopa Tribal Youth Council member.  "My cultural and traditional livelihood is being threatened, and the way they are going about this logging is a big part of that. I will continue to stand up for me, my people and future generations."

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